Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Ceisteanna (515)

Gary Gannon

Ceist:

515. Deputy Gary Gannon asked the Minister for Education when the national educational psychologists will be permitted to make schools visits to make necessary assessments for students that have been waiting since February 2020; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [27303/20]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Education)

Covid-19 has had a major impact on our daily lives and we have all had to adjust and adapt in the face of significant challenges in the course of 2020.  From the outset of this pandemic the National Educational Psychological Service (NEPS) has continued to deliver a psychological service to schools within the context of public health advice. In addition, NEPS has remained proactive in the development of advice for schools, parents and pupils to support the wellbeing of students and the transition back into school.

Guidelines have now been issued to psychologists and to schools to clarify procedures for in-school work to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all members of the school communities and NEPS staff.

Now that our schools have reopened and are settling back into their routines NEPS psychologists have an increased focus on both consultation and casework in schools with particular attention to the needs of individual students.  Psychologists will take a blended approach to the provision of casework to schools, working both remotely, and where appropriate in-school, depending on school protocols/plans and of the nature of need. This recognises that some aspects of casework will require the psychologist to work in the school, while other aspects of the work may be done remotely in order to minimise risk and maximise safety.